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28th Infantry Division

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Twenty-Eighth Infantry Division / 28th Division



"Keystone Division", "Iron Division", and "Bloody Buckets"




World War I





Ypres-Lys (FA)


World War II


North France



Central Europe



Oct 11, 1917

Feb 17, 1941




Dec 13, 1945





Pre-World War I


The 28th Infantry Division is the oldest division in the armed forces of the United States. The Office of the Chief of Military History certified that General Order No. 1, dated March 12, 1879, officially established the Division.


Revolutionary War Days Elements of the Division can trace their histories back to 1747, when Benjamin Franklin organized his battalion of "Associators" in Philadel phia. Other Pennsylvania units of the 28th Infantry Division had their beginnings in the Revolutionary War. Troop A, 1st Squadron , 104th Cavalry, was organized on Nov. 17 , 1774. The 109th Artillery Regiment was formed Oct. 17 , 1775 as the 24th Connecticut Militia. Both units served with distinction in General George Washington's Continental Army during the war .


The 19th Century During the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War , units fought victoriously at Vera Cruz and Cerro Cordo. Units of the Pennsylvania Militia won 29 battle streamers dur- ing these wars . In 1878 , Governor John F . Hartranft conceived the idea of forming a single National Guard of Pennsylvania . Hartranft became the 28th Division 's first commander. The Division mustered into federal service in 1898 for the Spanish- American War . Elements saw action in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. On Oct. 27, 1918, the Red Keystone was designated the shoulder sleeve insignia of the Division. The distinc- tive Keystone was the second shoulder sleeve patch to receive official Army approval.



World War I


World War I Units of the 28th Infantry Division , known at the time as the 7th Division, were called to active duty for the Mexican Border incidents in 1916. Pennsylvania's 7th Division was ordered to active duty at camp Hancock, Georgia, on July 15, 1917. On October 11, 1917, the Division was reorganized as the 28th Division while it was still training in Georgia. The 28th Division arrived in France on May 18, 1918. It was committed to battle on July 14. Soldiers of the Division participated in six major campaigns----Champagne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne- Marne, Oise-Marne, Lorraine, and Meuse-Argonne. During those campaigns, over 14,000 battle casu- alties were suffered the division. Its fierce combat abilities earned it the title "Iron Division" from General of the Armies John J. Pershing.


Activated: September 1917 (National Guard division from Pennsylvania).


Major Operations: Meuse-Argonne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Ypres-Lys (FA).


Casualties: Total-14,139 (KIA-2,165 ; WIA-11,974).


Commanders: Maj. Gen. C. M. Clement (17 July 1917), Brig. Gen. W. G. Price, Jr. (18 September 1917), Brig. Gen. F. W. Stilwell (28 October 1917), Maj. Gen. C. M. Clement (4 December 1917), Brig. Gen. F. W. Stilwell (11 December 1917), Maj. Gen. C. H. Muir (15 December 1917), Brig. Gen. F. H. Albright (23 October 1918), Maj. Gen. William H. Hay (25 October 1918).


Inactivated: Spring 1919.



World War II


Activated: 17 February 1941.


Overseas: 8 October 1943.


Campaigns: Normandy, North France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.


Days of combat: 196.


Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-29 ; DSM-1; SS-435; LM-27; SM-21 ; BSM-2,312 ; AM-100.


Commanders: Maj. Gen. Edward Martin (February-December 1941), Maj. Gen. J. Garsche Ord (January-May 1942), Maj. Gen. Omar N. Bradley (June 1942-January 1943), Maj. Gen. Lloyd D. Brown (January 1943-July 1944), Maj. Gen. Norman D. Cota (August 1944 to inactivation).


Returned to U. S.: 2 August 1945.


Inactivated: 13 December 1945.



109th, 110th and 112th Infantry Regiments

107th, 108th, 109th and 229th Field Artillery Battalions

103rd Engineer Combat Battalion


Combat Chronicle

On Feb. 17, 1941 , the 28th Division was ordered into federal service for one year of active duty. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 , led soldiers of the 28th to remain on active for the duration of the war. Having conducted specialized combat training in everything from offensive maneuvers in mountainous terrain to amphibious warfare, the Division's intensive training agenda culminated in its deployment to England on Oct. 8, 1943.


After another 10 months of train ing in England and Wales, the first elements of the Division entered combat on July 22,1944, landing on the beaches of Normandy. From Normandy, the 28th advanced across western France, finding itself in the thick of hedgerow fighting through towns such as Percy, Montbray, Montguoray, Gathemo and St. Sever de Calvados by the end of July 1944. The fury of assaults launched by the 28th Infantry Division led the German Army to bestow the Keystone soldiers with the title "Bloody Bucket" Division.


In a movement north toward the Seine in late August, the Division succeeded in trapping the remnant of the German 7th Army through Vorneuil, Breteuil, Damville, Conch es, Le Neubourg and Elbeuf before entering Paris to join in its Liberation. The famous photograph of American troops before the Arc de Triomphe, marching in battle parade down the Champs Elysees, shows the men of 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. With no time to rest, the Division moved on to IGMRht some of the most bloody battles of the War the day following the parade.


The advance continued through the Forest of Compeigne, La Fere, St. Quentin, Laon, Rethel, Sedan, Mezieres, Bouillon and eventually across the Meuse River into Belgium. The Keys\tone soldiers averaged 17 miles a day against the resistance of German "battle groups." The city of Arlon, Belgium, fell to a task force as the Division fanned out into Luxembourg in early September. On September 11, 1944, the 28th claimed the distinction of being the first American unit to enter Germany.


After hammering away in assaults which destroyed or captured 153 pillboxes and bunkers, the Division moved north toward the Siegfried Line, clearing the Monschau Forest of German forces.After a brief respite, the Keystone soldiers made another move northward to the Huertgen Forest in late September. Attacks in the forest began November 2, 1944. The 28th Infantry Division stormed into Vossenack, Kommerscheidt and Schmidt amid savage fighting and heavy losses.


By November 10, the 28th began to move south, where it held a 25-mile sector of the front line along the Our River. It was against this thinly fortified division line that the Germans unleashed the full force of their winter Ardennes "blitzkreig" offensive. Five Axis divisions stormed across the Our River the first day, followed by four more in the next few day. Overwhelmed by the weight of enemy armor and personnel, the division maintained its defense of this sector long enough to throw Gerd von Rundstedt's assault off schedule. With allied forces able to a move in to counterattack, the "Battle of the Bulge" ensured, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy forces.


Having sustained a devastating 15,000 casualties, the 28th withdrew to refortify. But within three weeks, the Division was back in action. By January 1945, Division soldiers had moved south where they served with the French First Army in the reduction of the "Colmar Pocket." The 109th Infantry Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for its action which helped lead to the liberation of Colmar, the last major French city in German hands. By February 23, 1945, the Division returned north to the American First Army. The 28th was in position along the Olef River when an attack was launched on March 6, 1945, carrying the Division to the Ahr River. Schleiden, Germund, Kall, Sotenich, Sistig and Blankenheim all fell in a raid advance. By early April, the Division moved west of the Rhine and took up occupation duties in the area north of Aachen along the Holland-German border. Permanent occupation came two weeks later at the Saurland and Rhonish areas. In early July 1945, the 28th began its re-deployment to the U.S.


The Division was deactivated on December 13, 1945. Five campaign streamers - Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe - were earned during World War II, in addition to the Croix de Guerre.


Regrettably, Private Eddie Slovik, the only U.S. soldier executed for desertion during World War II, was a member of the 28th Division.


Assignments in the ETO

22 October 1943: V Corps, First Army.

14 April 1944: XX Corps, Third Army.

24 April 1944: Third Army, but attached to First Army.

26 July 1944: XIX Corps.

30 July 1944: XIX Corps, First Army.

1 August 1944: XIX Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.

28 August 1944: V Corps.

19 November 1944: VIII Corps.

20 December 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.

5 January 1945: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to Oise Section, Communications Zone, for supply.

6 January 1945: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.

8 January 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group.

9 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.

16 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

20 January 1945: French II Corps.

28 January 1945: XXI Corps.

14 February 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

19 February 1945: 12th Army Group.

21 February 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.

16 March 1945: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.

22 March 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group.

28 March 1945: III Corps.

7 April 1945: First Army, 12th Army Group.

10 April 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.

13 April 1945: XXII Corps.

26 April 1945: XXIII Corps.



Post WWII Service


The 28th Infantry Division has continued to serve the nation as part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.


After being deactivated as part of the Army in December 1945, it was reorganised in 1946 and returned to the Pennsylvania National Guard; following the outbreak of the Korean War, it was recalled to active duty and sent to bolster NATO forces in Germany. In 1954, it returned to the National Guard.


The Division was not mobilized during the Vietnam War, although in 1965 it was selected as one of three divisions in the Army Selective Reserve Force. Nor was it mobilised in force for Operation Desert Storm in 1991; however, the 121st Transportation Company, one of its constituent units, served in Saudi Arabia and volunteers from the Division were deployed overseas, some in the Middle East.


In 1996, after the signing of the Dayton Agreement, some units of the divisional artillery were called up to serve as peacekeeping forces in Bosnia; elements of the 28th served in Bosnia as peacekeepers for several years following this. In 2002, the 28th Division took command of the Northern Brigade Task Force (Task Force Eagle), as part of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia as part of SFOR 12. The leading combat arms units under the 28th while in Bosnia were the 109th Infantry and the 104th Cavalry. The division was the third reserve component division headquarters to take on this role in Bosnia (previously the Army National Guard's 49th and 29th Divisions had commanded Task Force Eagle).


In 2003, the 28th Division again lead the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo as part of KFOR 5A for a 6 month rotation. The 28th was the first reserve component division headquarters to take on this role in Kosovo. Later in 2005, elements of the 28th Division would again return to Kosovo as part of KFOR 6B, the first year long rotation by U.S. troops to the region.


During the "Global War on Terror" following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US the Keystone Division has provided troops for Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and - most significantly - several thousand troops for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor and 1st Battalion, 109th Field Artillery deployed to Iraq in November, 2004. The division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in July 2005.



Operation Iraqi Freedom


Returning to the 28th Infantry Division in September 2001, the 1-107 Armor Battalion (Cavalry) provided many of the first soldiers to wear the Bloody Bucket in combat since World War II. In October 2003, Companies B and C of the 1-107th Armor Battalion (Cavalry)(Ohio Army National Guard) were activated to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for five months of mobilization training where they were attached to the 1-150th Armor Battalon (WVARNG) and the 1-252 Armor Battalion (NCARNG) respectively, for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom II with North Carolina's 30th Brigade Combat Team under 1st Infantry Division. These elements of the 1-107th Armor were in Iraq from February to December 2004, serving in Kirkush, Tuz Khurmatu, Jalawla, and Baghdad.


In December 2003 The 1-107th FA was activated to Ft. Dix and trained 11 days to be MP's. In January of 2004 the soldiers of the 107th where deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The different batteries where dipersed throughout Iraq serving as MPs. The members of the 107th returned home in Feb. of 2005.


In June 2004, the 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor Regt. was activated at Fort Bliss, Texas and deployed to Iraq in November in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This marked the first deployment of a 28th ID combat battalion to a war zone since World War II. The battalion, now designated as a Task Force (Task Force DRAGOON), was stationed at Forward Operating Base Summerall, near Bayji. Attached initially to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, and then the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, the 800 man TF 1-103rd Armor, commanded by LTC Philip J. Logan engaged in combat operations for 12 months before redeploying to the United States in November, 2005. Ten soldiers from TF Dragoon were Killed in Action during combat operations in Salah Ad Din Province, a heavily Sunni Muslim area in the north part of the "Sunni Triangle".


Task Force 1-103rd Armor (Dragoons)


June 2004-December 2004

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-103rd Armor

A Company, 1-111 IN

A Company, 1-112 IN

B Company, 1-103 AR

C Company, 103 EN


December 2004-March 2005

HHC 1-103 AR (TF HQ)

A/1-111 IN (MTZ)

B/1-103 AR (MTZ)

C/1-7 FA (Mech)

C/103 EN (Mech)

1/A/1-7 FA (Paladin)


March 2005-November 2005

HHC 1-103 AR (TF HQ)

A/1-111 IN (MTZ)

B 1-103 AR (MTZ)

B/2-7 IN (Mech)

173 IN DET (LRS)

C/103 EN (MTZ)

1/A/1-41 FA (Paladin)


In January 2005, approximately 4,000 soldiers from 23 states were mobilized to Camp Shelby, MS for a 6 month train-up in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These soldiers consist of approximately 10 battalions under the command of Col. John Gronski, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 28th Infantry Division. The soldiers participated in combat-oriented training as well as acquiring much needed equipment for the Operation Iraqi Freedom mission.


In May 2005, 2nd Brigade soldiers trained at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA to prepare for their upcoming mission in Iraq due to start in July 2005.


In late June and early July 2005 2nd Brigade soldiers began deploying to the Al-Anbar Province and are under the command of the 2nd Marine Division. This marks the first time since World War II that the 28th Infantry Division patch will be worn as a right shoulder Combat Unit Patch.



2nd Brigade — OIF Composition


Headquarters Company 2nd Brigade — 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania National Guard)

1 — 104th Cavalry Regiment (Pennsylvania National Guard)

1 — 109th Infantry Regiment (Pennsylvania National Guard)

1 — 110th Infantry Regiment (Pennsylvania National Guard)

2 — 222nd Field Artillery Regiment (Utah National Guard)

1 — 172nd Armor Regiment (Vermont National Guard)

1 — 167th Cavalry Regiment (Nebraska National Guard)

228th Forward Support Battalion (Pennsylvania National Guard)

A Company — 138th Signal Battalion (Indiana National Guard)

231st Military Intelligence (Kentucky National Guard)

876th Engineers (Pennsylvania National Guard)

28th Infantry Division — Military Police Company (Pennsylvania Army National Guard)

D Company 1 — 149th Infantry Regiment (Kentucky National Guard)

2 — 69 Armor (3rd Infantry Division, Ft. Benning, GA)


Current Composition


As an Infantry Division (Mechanised), the 28th is comprised of two infantry brigades and one armoured brigade, plus supporting elements.


2d Brigade (Iron Brigade)

1st Battalion — 103d Armor Regiment

1st Battalion — 110th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)

1st Battalion — 112th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)

1st Battalion — 145th Armor Regiment (Heavy Maneuver) (Ohio Army National Guard)

128th Forward Support Battalion

55th Brigade

1st Battalion — 109th Infantry Regiment

2d Battalion — 103d Armor Regiment

3d Battalion — 103d Armor Regiment

1st Battalion — 109th Field Artillery Regiment

337th Engineer Battalion

228th Forward Support Battalion

56th Brigade - "Independence Brigade"

1st Battalion — 111th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)

2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized)

1st Battalion — 150th Armor Regiment

328th Forward Support Battalion

Aviation Brigade

1st Battalion — 104th Aviation

2d Battalion — 104th Aviation

1st Squadron — 104th Cavalry Regiment

Divisional Artillery

1st Battalion — 108th Field Artillery Regiment

1st Battalion — 107th Field Artillery Regiment

28th Engineer Brigade

103d Engineer Battalion

876th Engineer Battalion

1st Battalion, 213th Air Defense Artillery Regiment


Divisional history from:







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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Alfred Ed Moch Cota

To Whom It May;


I wish to express my personal graditude to all that wish the preserve the history and heritage of the men that are and were the 28th. Division.


I have been informed that there is an attempt to have former 28th. Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Norman D. Cota be awarded "The Metal of Honor". Though he has passed on in the 1970's, it is the honor and respect that he is remembered even to this day of what he represented not only as a commander in World War II, but also a symbol of a soldiers soldiers that set an example for all to respect and admire.


Be it or not... if General Cota is bestowed with "The Metal of Honor", it is the thoughtfulness that counts. The thoughtfullness not only for him, but also for all that were with and inspired by him.


I wish that I personally knew him as many did when he was alive... I can only hold to what I read and what I was told about him. There are those who have said to me that my personal dimeaner (and partcial resemblance) reminded them of him... all I can is give my thanks to those that knew or met him. If "The Metal of Honor" is issued, and I and my family members are presented, I would be deeply honored to recieve such a tribute for him.


With Best Intentions;


Alfred "Ed Moch" Cota

Grandson of "The General"


P.S.: Please share this with all concerned


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4 more 28th Div variants.


a.) machine embroidered U.S. made, WW II

b.) machine embroidered German made, postwar (so called "salt & pepper" or "basket wave" style)

c.) machine embroidered origin unknown

d.) machine embroidered patch of the Division Support Command, post 1970.



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A hat-sized version and another OD bordered 28th....





In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired




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  • 10 months later...

This was is my personal favorite from my collection. I bought this tunic awhile ago from someone on here and wanted to share the patch.

The picture doesn't do it justice, but it's a 3-piece contruction with a velvet keystone and bullion border.


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  • 1 year later...

This is the ACU 28th Infantry Division patch with VELCRO® back issued by the United States Army to me in 2008 for my Army Combat Uniform


(Grandfather) Albert C. Randall Sr. (USMC) 1946-1952 - Marine Recon before Korea then 1st Marine Division (Frozen Chosen)

(Great Uncle) Victor E. Randall (USN) 1943-1946 (USMC) 1946-1955 - USS Shangri-la & 1st Provisional Marine Brigade - 1st Marine Division

(Great Uncle) Howard D. Randall (USMC) 1942-1945 - 1st Marine Division MP

(Great Uncle) Donald Randall (US ARMY Airborne) 1950-1954 PH Recipient, shot in the rear end while bathing in Korea.

(Great Uncle) William H. Randall (US Army Air Corp) 1942-1945 - PBY Gunner, patrolled Gulf of Mexico for U-boats

(Cousin) Mathew S. Randall (USMC) 1970-1972 (Family still not notified of actual cause of death)

(Sister) Kelsi L. Randall (USMC) 2010-present - MOS 5711 NBC Specialist

(Myself) Zachary T. Randall (US ARMY) 2008-Current

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  • 3 years later...

28th Division patch with "Germany" tab, on the sleeve of an Ike jacket. 1950's era, from when the 28th was federalized and sent to Germany during the Korean war.


Follow me on Facebook @zemkecollectables

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